Dear MotionWorks Family,
January and February 2020 will likely be viewed in as a tumultuous time in our American history. Emotions of all types were felt as our country faced challenges that hit all of us, including the shocking helicopter crash in California that killed nine, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. It was an event so shocking, I first learned of it by a friend’s Facebook post saying this news story must truly be a hoax. It is times like these that force us to reconcile the fact that death can really happen at any time, and reminds us to hug our loved ones close and tell them how much we love them.
In the list of NBA icons, Kobe Bryant stands out among the few top players of all time who didn’t just score a lot of points, and win a lot of championships. To his friends and family, business partners, and the professional athletes he mentored, he was so much more. He was known for being real, re-building his character and reputation after cringe-worthy moments, Kobe didn’t make excuses, but worked to make amends and learn and grow from his mistakes. He was an authentic guy, transparent. He would admit his mistakes, and that’s what propelled his desire to change into someone better- a better husband, dad, and friend. The kind of guy you would like as your mentor, who would push you to make you better through hard work and persistence. He believed in old school ingredients that make an athlete a success, as this is how he achieved and maintained his high level of performance throughout his NBA career.
Then all too soon, at the age of 42, he and his 13-year old daughter and 7 other friends also associated with the game of basketball were gone. As much as a guy like Kobe could teach us while here on earth, his death taught us even more. Life really is short, so let’s make a difference. Did he buy an NBA team, hoard social media attention, or become a high level NBA coach or NBA commentator? Nope. He became a servant leader and influencer behind the scenes opening a gym in his local community to help young athletes get better and a foundation that helped underprivileged youth in after school and sports programs and pledged funds to address the growing homeless crisis in California. Even with a reputation as the top NBA player in history, leading the Lakers to five championships, he wasn’t in it for him, and it showed. Kobe named the gym that he opened to improve youth sports performance after his nickname, Mamba, which is a type of python snake that strikes with deadly 99% accuracy. His relentless pursuit of excellence through hard work is a great take away to share with our kids, who may be too young to ever see clips of Kobe Bryant playing the game he loved.
Let’s pass on the good that we can learn from the craziness of life. Ideas that stand the test of time like character, hard work, persistence, giving to others, and learning from your mistakes. If each of us believes and acts in a way to lift others up around us, everybody wins!
Dr. Jill Murphy
MotionWorks Physical Therapy